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Working at Height

General Statement

All reasonable steps shall be taken by Snowik Limited to provide a safe working environment for employees required to carry out their when working at height.

Snowik Limited will provide the necessary preventive and protective measures to prevent falls of persons or materials from the site and will liase with any other persons involved in the site activity. Any other person involved in the site activity will be advised of the implementation of this policy.

This policy and its arrangements cover the use of all types of ladder, for example those used for gaining access to positions above or below ground. In this policy a ladder / step ladder (ladder) should be referred to as a temporary measure which may be used as a working platform for no more than 30 minutes.

Under no circumstances should ladders/step ladders be loaned to other contractors when working on site. Contractors should provide their own equipment and methods for working on ladders.

Persons at Risk

Any person using a ladder is especially at risk, when working on the ladder, when ascending or descending, or when positioning or removing it. Other persons working near to, or passing by, a person working on a ladder could be in danger from tools, equipment or the person falling from a height.

Hazards

The significant hazards associated with the use of ladders are:

  • Failure of the ladder causing persons or equipment to fall
  • Items falling from the ladder
  • The ladder touching / earthing an electrical supply
  • Persons over-reaching or stretching from the ladder in order to reach a position
  • Slipping of the ladder due to not being correctly secured
  • Overloading of the ladder
  • Inappropriate use of ladders (i.e. where scaffolding is required)

Risk Assessment and Evaluation

It is a requirement of the Work at Height Regulations that where work is identified that a risk of a fall is likely and liable to cause injury employers should ensure:

  1. Proper organisation and planning
  2. Those involved are competent on the site at height activity
  3. The risks for that activity have been assessed and that appropriate site equipment is selected and used
  4. Equipment is properly inspected and maintained
  5. Risks involving fragile surfaces are properly controlled

In all cases the hierarchy for managing and selecting the most suitable equipment. This should form the basis of the risk assessment

  • AVOIDANCE – Don’t site at height. Is there another way of achieving this task
  • PREVENT – use site equipment and/or other measures that PREVENT the risk of falls
  • MITIGATE – where the risk cannot be eliminated , use site equipment to minimise the distance and consequences, should a fall occur

The following actions should eliminate or reduce the risk of the above hazards to an acceptable level. The analysis of the likelihood and severity of the significant hazards causing harm, taking into account existing and planned preventive and protective measures, is shown on the general risk assessment form. Where changes take place in the activity outlined above, or any other hazard is identified which is not included above, an additional risk assessment must be carried out.

Examples of activities where a specific risk assessment will be required are:

  • The use of ladders to enter a confined space
  • The use of ladders to reach levels of a scaffold or to reach between two levels of a scaffold
  • The use of a ladder to reach equipment sited aloft
  • The use of ladders for window cleaning
  • All site from ladders for access to live electrical equipment
  • All site from ladders with power tools
  • All site from ladders where loads have to be lifted or handled

Arrangements

Planning and Organisation

Snowik Limited when working on all premises will ensure that ladders are of the correct type for the specific task, are inspected before use, are subject to regular inspection and maintenance, and meet appropriate legislative and equipment standards. These are summarised below:

  • Marking of ladders with a unique number to aid recognition
  • Securing and footing of ladders as soon as possible after erection
  • Use of ladders at the correct angle (75 degree from horizontal)
  • Provision of ladder attachments as necessary
  • Marking of safe zones around ladders where persons are working above or below ground, plus use of barriers and warning notices

Training & Instruction

Snowik Limited will ensure that all persons required to use ladders during their site are trained & assessed in all aspects of ladder site every three years. This will include training in the measures outlined above. Snowik Limited will keep records of all persons training in the safe use of ladders.

Procedure for Serious & Imminent Danger

At all times when ladders are to be used in situations which could conceivably be classed as potentially hazardous a permit to site must be issued.

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